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American Pain Foundation’s Pain and Creativity Center

The American Pain Foundation and HealthCentral have created an online exhibit to highlight the importance of creativity activities in coping with chronic pain. The exhibit includes poetry, prose, digital photos, artwork and crafts, and inspirational videos. Everyone who has made a submission has included a paragraph describing how their art represents their pain experience.

Although the deadline has passed for submitting entries for mention at this month’s American Pain Foundation’s anniversary celebration, the exhibit is ongoing. You may add your contribution on the APF Pain and Creativity Center.

Whether you’re interested in looking at others’ work or submitting your own, recognizing the importance of creativity in health is inspiring.

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Headache Treatment Through Art

Artists with migraine or chronic daily headache often depict the subject in their work, and many people with migraine use art as therapy. Here are some terrific examples.

James Cottrill of Relive Migraine Headache posted last week about the beautiful work of Heather Powers. He specifically called attention to a photograph called Blinding Migraine, where she captures how she felt during a migraine that hit while waiting in traffic. It’s a great image and it’s only the tip of her terrific work. Check it out! If you’re interested in ordering any prints, please e-mail Heather.

James’ post reminded me of an interview with Christa Barnell, a painter who also has CDH, that appeared on ChronicBabe a while back. Painting is Christa’s medicine. She says, “It keeps me focused on something else besides pain. During my worst summer of pain, I would have to wake up and go straight to the easel, skipping breakfast and brushing my teeth. If I didn’t distract myself with something right away, I would notice the pain and just go back to bed for the day.”

The ChronicBabe article offers a glimpse into the life of another headache sufferer and how she copes. Make sure you take a look at her gorgeous work, too, which can be ordered through her website.

Both the American Council of Headache Education and the National Headache Foundation share migraine art on their websites. ACHE’s site has a migraine art museum, while the NHF showcases winners of its Migraine Masterpieces contests held in 1998, 2001 and 2003. (Christa won second place in the 2003 contest.)